MINCINHAMPTON golfing professional Stuart Little will be rubbing shoulders with golfing luminaries Colin Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam and Paul McGinley after dramatically grabbing a coveted European Seniors’ Tour card for 2019.

Little,51, defeated countryman Peter Wilson in a play-off, birdieing the second extra-hole to secure the fifth and final card on a pulsating day in Portugal.

With four men securing cards, it was down to Little and Wilson to go toe-to-toe for the final spot.

Little, a two-time winner on the European Challenge Tour, holed a sumptuous 30-foot putt on the 72nd hole to ensure he would compete in a play-off with his fellow countryman Wilson.

The pair parred the first extra hole – the 17th – and teed it up on the 18th.

Both men found the fairway with their tee shot, but it was Little who gained a foothold - smashing a stunning seven iron to four feet and fizzing in the birdie putt to defeat Wilson.

Little, who once won 350,000 euros in prize money in 2005 when he finished 65th in the Order of Merit, said: “I’m very pleased to have qualified, especially in a play-off, which I won on the second play-off hole, with a birdie 3.

“It was a very difficult task, around 90 competitors for five cards, with sixth-place walking away with nothing.”

The big-hitting left-hander admitted testing conditions pushed him to the wire.

He added: “It was a difficult week with windy, but dry conditions on a course that test all departments of your game.

“Scoring very much reflected with only 5 under winning the tournament and me 1 under for last card - 75, 69, 69 and 70.”

Little is relishing the challenge of going back on tour when the season kicks-off in April with 18 scheduled tournaments.

“I’m so looking forward to the challenge ahead and meeting up with many old friends, no pun intended.”

With the winter taking a grip in Gloucestershire, Little is currently stranded in Portugal.

Little said: “I was due to fly back to Bristol today (Friday) but the flight was cancelled, but this sometimes comes with the territory of being on the road.”

However, Little will be certain of a warm welcome when he touches down.

He added: “I’m looking forward to getting home to catch-up with family, friends and members from Minch Golf Club.”